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The Brainy Business | Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy | Behavioral Economics

Jul 23, 2021

Today I am very excited to have Dr. Leidy Klotz on the show to talk about how we humans have an instinct for adding things. We want more and often don’t even think about taking things away. But why is that? Why do we have adding instincts? Why are we so averse to less, and how could we see the value in it? 

That is a little of what we talk about today in this conversation which centers around Leidy’s new book, Subtract. It’s really fascinating and more than mere minimalism. As Leidy says in the conversation, he isn’t advocating that less is always better, that you never should want more. Instead, this is more focused on thinking about it; considering the benefit of less before making a choice. Plus, you get to learn about his possibly surprising first career before getting into academia! 

Show Notes:

  • [00:06] In today’s episode I’m excited to introduce you to Dr. Leidy Klotz, author of the new book, Subtract.
  • [03:30] Leidy shares about himself, his background, and how he has gotten to behavioral science. 
  • [05:44] There is a way that people should go and then what they will actually do.  
  • [06:34] Engineering is the creative application of science. There is a huge overlap between engineering, architecture, and behavioral science. 
  • [08:05] People have been doing choice architecture for a long time, it has just been called marketing. 
  • [08:44] Leidy was a professional soccer player and he wrote a book about sustainability through soccer. Soccer is a very systems-oriented sport. 
  • [10:39] He learned a lot of things by playing soccer.  
  • [13:32] He shares what inspired him to write his book, Subtract. 
  • [15:04] When we encounter systems that we can improve in multiple ways, why is our first instinct to add?
  • [16:52] When people try to improve something their first thought is to think about what can we add to this situation to make it better. 
  • [19:01] More often than not, we don’t even think about getting rid of something. 
  • [20:52] Instead of a longer list of to-dos, we need a list of “stop doings.” 
  • [23:07] As humans, we want to display our competence. 
  • [25:28] We can also show competence by subtracting, we just have to do more of it for it to be noticeable. 
  • [28:30] You can be a minimalist by not acquiring stuff, but that is not subtracting. 
  • [29:39] Left to our own devices, we are not going to think of taking away. 
  • [30:40] A good lesson is to subtract first. If you subtract first you are more likely to think about it in later situations.  
  • [32:53] Less is not a loss. Less is an improvement.
  • [34:33] We tend to think of add and subtract as opposites. They are not opposites, they are complementary ways to make a change. 
  • [37:06] When you are arguing for subtraction or trying to get people to think of subtraction, help them think about the thing they added elsewhere. 
  • [37:52] When we add something, we are left with the original situation plus whatever we have added. When we take something away, we are left with an improved original situation plus that thing we took away which we can use somewhere else. 
  • [40:22] When you have written something, taking it out is a really hard thing. Leidy and Melina share some about their book writing processes. 
  • [42:22] Melina shares her closing thoughts.
  • [45:15] Melina’s award-winning first book, What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You is available on AmazonBookshop, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and Booktopia

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show. 

I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation.

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Past Episodes & Other Important Links: 

Check out What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You on AmazonBookshop, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and Booktopia